The approval came with conditions that the church provides landscaping to obscure the view of the parking deck and that they use either brick or concrete instead of barrier cables on the parking deck.
The parking deck will be partially obscured from Old Alabama Road due to the grading of the land, Woody Galloway told council on behalf of the church. “It is a two-story deck but from Old Alabama it would appear to be surface parking because of the grade differences,” he said.
A representative from the Queensbury neighborhood on Brumbelow Road said his homeowners association is concerned that the increase in parking spots the parking deck would provide would bring more traffic in a primarily residential area.
Johns Creek Planning and Zoning Administrator Justin Kirouac said the deck is not expected to bring additional traffic but rather accommodate existing members and visitors who have no place to park in peak times.
“A parking deck itself does not inherently increase traffic, it captures existing traffic to the site,” he said.
Church representatives said the current parking is often exhausted on holidays and other peak times and sometimes cars are parked in neighboring subdivisions so church-goers can walk to the campus.
This is not the first time St. Brigid Catholic Church has appeared before council, and Councilmember Post 3 Karen Richardson asked if this appeal would encompass a long-term plan for the church or if council could expect to see the parish come forward for more expansions. Galloway said there is no way to know the future but this plan is expected to accommodate the church for at least five years. “As far as we know this is a full vision,” he said.
Galloway said while most churches want to see growth, this expansion is intended to primarily provide “elbow room” and not a mega-church growth plan.